Christmas concerts a festive feast!

Lots of talent and a feast of music and song – that’s the story of the DMEP concerts in the run-up to Christmas.

The biggie was the DMEP Christmas Concert at An Grianán on Sunday last. There were also two memorable students concerts at the Regional Cultural Centre on Saturday 2nd Dec., a piano concert for students of Edita Labanauskiene on Saturday 9th Dec. and a student concert in PCC An Fál Carrach on Tuesday last 12th Dec. Impressive bunch of talented musicians and singers!

Still to come is the ‘Festive Treats’ concert at Rockhill House outside Letterkenny with the Donegal Chamber Orchestra. That’s been sold out since shortly after it was announced 🙂 Well done to artistic director Victor Yélamo, DMEP cello tutor; leader/director Orsolya Szabo-Yélamo, the DMEP’s full-time violin resource tutor; and all the DCO members.

At the DMEP Christmas Concert, the Donegal Youth Orchestra turned in another excellent performance under the direction of conductor Vincent Kennedy (Dublin). It included a piece from the flute section and a trumpet duet from guests David Whalley and Niamh O’Donnell. The Glenties Youth Choir and musicians, under the direction of Anne McDwyer, also got a great reception.

A talking point on the night was the performance of ‘Sunflowers’, a group of young Ukrainian guitarists living in Downings, playing with their tutor Tatiana Kovalova. They delivered three pieces in great style – all the more impressive as they only started playing in May.

Strings were a theme of the night, and the ancient harp tradition of Ireland was well represented by the Colmcille Harp Trio of Lucia McGinnis, from Greysteel, and her students at the Regional Cultural Centre on Fridays, Siún Ní Dhomhnaill (Ramelton) and Caela Carr (Letterkenny).

The big crowd got a special treat with the performance of Manus Noble, one of the leading classical guitarists of his generation, who has recently moved to the Culdaff area.

To finish the concert in tradtional style, audience members joined in with the Donegal Youth Orchestra, Glenties Youth Choir and Lucia and Siún on harps for four Christmas carols and an appropriate encore – ‘Jingle Bells’.

Check the DMEP-Donegal Music Education Partnership Facebook page for some clips from the concerts

All hands on deck for the carols at the end of the DMEP Christmas Concert at An Grianán Theatre in Letterkenny on Sunday 10th December 2023. Vincent Kennedy conducts onstage.